Wild Fact #545 – Groundhog Day – Groundhog


Photo by EIC (Wikimedia)

Does it ever feel great to be back!  I hope you enjoyed our underwater theme last week.  There will be no such theme this week as it will be a myriad of random animals that I feel like writing about.  Of course, I am always open to suggestions so if you have an animal you would like to know more about then please don’t hesitate to let me know. We are going to start the week off with an animal I saw just outside of the Parliament buildings the other day.  I know, I was surprised to see a little Groundhog making tunnels on the lawn as well – you think security would have the lock down on this little critter.  Not exactly sure what a Groundhog is?  Well, perhaps you know them by their other name which has been made famous by a tongue twister.  Of course, i am going to say the tongue twister for you…. “How much wood could a Woodchuck chuck, if a Woodchuck could chuck wood?” I still don’t know the answer to that but I do have some great information about the Woodchuck so let’s get into that right now.

Personally, I am envious of this little rodents lifestyle.  Like many other smart mammals, the Groundhog will pig out on food all summer building up their fat content so when the first frost hits, they can retreat to their underground burrows and sleep all winter.  I am telling you , this really is the best life history strategy out there – I don’t know why humans can’t do this.  So what do these little critters eat all summer? Well, they like to chow down on grasses, fruits and of course tree bark (how else do you think that tongue twister was started?).

Photo by Marumari (Wikimedia)

Of course the other claim to fame for the Groundhog is when they decide to come up from their hibernation.  Yes, the infamous Groundhog Day, which is suppose to let us know how long we have to wait for spring.  Yes, the Groundhog has a lot of responsibility come February 2nd of every year.  If the little guy sees his shadow then this means we are in for 6 more weeks of winter – I am not too sure how all of this started but there has to be some good reason for it, right? Poor little Groundhog just wants to wake up, grab the newspaper and a coffee but has to deal with a horde of people watching their burrows.  The life of a Groundhog can be tough sometimes.

Groundhog Fast Fact – The Groundhog is the largest member of the squirrel family and can usually be found hanging out on the ground. But this doesn’t mean they can’t climb trees or splash around in the water. They are actually very capable climbers and swimmers.

That does it for Monday’s Small Mammal Wild Fact.  Enjoy the rest of your day!



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